Key Defence chiefs have had their terms extended by two years to ensure continuity in an increasingly complex security environment.
Defence Minister Richard Marles has announced the extension for the Chief of the Defence Force, Angus Campbell, and the Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Vice Admiral David Johnston.
Additionally, the government has asked the CDF to extend the term of the Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Greg Bilton for two years.
“We arrive at a time which is as strategically complex as any since the end of the Second World War in terms of our national security and the needs of our defence procurement,” Mr Marles said.
He said the Albanese Government was putting a premium on continuity.
“This applies to strategic advice and the timely and effective delivery of key procurements, including through the AUKUS framework,” Mr Marles said.
“Australia cannot afford any further delay in the next generation of submarines.”
Mr Marles said the team of General Campbell and Admiral Johnston offered stability in command and continuity in the delivery of advice and defence capability for the government.
“General Bilton’s continued leadership in the planning and conduct of our military campaigns and exercises will provide ongoing stability and certainty,” he said.
Mr Marles also announced a new team of Chiefs for Navy, Army and Air Force, all four-year appointments.
Rear Admiral Mark Hammond has been promoted Vice Admiral and appointed Chief of Navy.
Rear Admiral Hammond joined the Navy in 1986 to become an electronics technician and commissioned as an officer in 1988.
He has had an extensive career as a submariner and currently serves as the Australian Fleet Commander, responsible for the force generation of capable maritime forces.
Rear Admiral Hammond will be the first graduate of the Australian Defence Force Academy to become a Service Chief since its inception in 1986.
Major General Simon Stuart has been promoted to Lieutenant General, and appointed Chief of Army.
Major General Stuart joined the Army as a recruit in 1987 and served as a signalman before commissioning as an officer in 1989.
He has had a diverse career as an infantryman and has significant command experience.
Most recently, as Head of Land Capability, he has been responsible for the design, modernisation and sustainment of current and future land capability.
Air Vice-Marshal Robert Chipman has been promoted to Air Marshal and appointed Chief of Air Force.
Air Vice-Marshal Chipman joined the Air Force in 1989 and, after qualifying as an aeronautical engineer, had an extensive career as a fighter pilot.
He is currently the Head of Military Strategic Commitments, providing strategic military advice, planning guidance and Defence input to the national crisis management machinery.
“The government extends its deepest gratitude and thanks to the outgoing Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, Chief of Army Lieutenant General Rick Burr, and Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld,” Mr Marles said.
“These officers have served our nation with great distinction during a period of significant cultural change and modernisation of military capabilities.”
The Governor-General has accepted these recommendations for appointment of the ADF’s senior leadership positions.